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Negros-Cebu travel via Bantayan deferred

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Trips to Bantayan Island in Cebu from the cities of Cadiz and Sagay in Negros Occidental, are still suspended, despite the easing of travel protocols.

Negros Occidental officials are still wary because of increasing Covid-19 cases in Cebu City.

Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr.  said  yesterday that he will not allow the resumption of travel to the island as long as “there is no substantial roll- out of the coronavirus vaccines.”

Sagay City Tourism Officer Helen Javier Arguelles yesterday said that the suspension of trips from Sagay City to Bantayan Island, a prime tourist destination of Cebu, remains in effect.

Mayor Alfredo Maranon III, in an executive order he issued,  said that those entering Sagay City will no longer be required RT-PCR negative test results, except those coming outside of Western Visayas.

But its tourist destination areas remain closed, as of this time, pending a meeting between stakeholders.

Escalante said Cadiz City has nine positive cases of which three are from Cebu and the others  from Manila and Zamboanga.

“That means most of our positive cases came from Cebu,” the mayor said.

If he allows the resumption of trips, Escalante said Cadiz City will become a “backdoor”, noting that the  cities of Escalante and San Carlos are strict with the protocols in their borders.

He raised the possibility that some people from Cebu, Masbate and Romblon may use Bantayan island as a jump-off point to Negros.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gina Montilla-Lizares also ease restrictions on travelers entering Sipalay City, which is dubbed Negros Occidental’s  “Jewel of the South”.

Lizares, in the executive order she issued, disclosed that tourists from Negros Occidental are no longer required to present travel documents, while travelers from within Region 6 will only be required to have S-Pass registration and a travel coordination permit.

In compliance with the executive order issued by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, travelers outside Western Visayas will be required to have negative RT-PCR test results.*

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